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WHAT IS MEDICINE ABOUT?

  • The world is going through the pandemic of COVID-19, which is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.The number of affected people is 9,369,381 all around the globe.
  • Patanjali Ayurved is a company producing range of food, cosmetics, medicines, books, CD s, DVD s & Audio cassettes, in India. Patanjali on 22nd June 2020, claimed to make aAyurvedic Medicine – ‘Coronil and Swasari’, which can cure and prevent people from get infected by COVID-19 virus and also claimed that it recovers the infected persons within 7 days.
  • According to Baba Ramdev, their clinical trial found that 69% of the patients tested recovered from COVID-19 within three days, while 100% of the patients recovered within a week.  DrJaideepArya, central chief co-ordinator, PatanjaliYogpeeth tweeted that the clinical trials were jointly done by Patanjali and NIMS, Jaipur.

WHAT IS THE VIEW OF HEALTH MINISTRY? 

  • The Union Ministry of AYUSH said that the ingredients and details of scientific study of the medicine are not known to the ministry.
  • Ministry also asked the Patanjali Team to give the details regarding compositions and details of the medicine, name of the places or hospitals where the research was conducted and the systematic results of the research and other necessary information regarding the medicine so that they can check and verify them.
  • Ministry has restrained the Patanjalicompany to advertise and promote their product till the medicine was not verified by the concerned authorities as they don’t want the people to get false hope from a false advertisement.

CAN MEDICINE FIRM ADVERTISE WITHOUT PERMISSION OF GOVT? 

According to Section 4 of The Drugs and Magical Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement)  Act, 1954 “ no person shall take any part in the publication of any advertisement relating to a drug if the advertisement contains any matters which--

(a) directly or indirectly gives a false impression regarding the true character of the drug; or

(b) makes a false claim for the drug; or

(c) is otherwise false or misleading in any material particular.”

Patanjali Ayurved Limited is a company incorporated under Companies Act, 1956.

Section 24 (2) of the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 says that “No person shall engage himself in any unfair trade practice for purpose of promoting the sale, supply, use and consumption of articles of food or adopt any unfair or deceptive practice including the practice of making any statement, whether orally or in writing or by visible representation which - c. gives to the public any guarantee of the efficacy that is not based on an adequate or scientific justification thereof.”

Section 53 of the Act provides for penalty for misleading advertisements, extending to `10 lakhs.

CONSEQUENCES OF FALSE ADVERTISING 

  • Earlier, AIDS/HIV was not in the Schedule of the Drugs and Magical Remedies Act, 1954. But subsequently, the Union Ministry of Health included HIV/AIDS too in the schedule to the Rules. The Kerala High Court’s order in 2002, against the manufacture, sale and promotion of the Ayurveda drug ImmunoQR as a sure cure for AIDS is one of the example to it. In response to the public interest litigation, the Bombay High Court had also restrained MrMajid from making “tall and unfounded claims” about the drug.
  • In 2010, Kellogg erroneously claimed that Rice Krispies had “immune-boosting properties,” allegedly because of the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that the breakfast cereal was fortified with. The claims were dubious, at best; the Federal Trade Commission ordered Kellogg to halt any and all advertising making reference to these effects.When the case was settled in 2011, Kellogg agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine to affected customers and donate $2.5 million of Kellogg products to charity.
  • Johnson & Johnson claim in the advertisement, “50 Years Doctor’s Trust”, and voice-over claim, “Pachchaassaaloon se doctoron ka bharosa”, was inadequately substantiated and was misleading, according to Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).
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